I’ve been looking into various teeth whitening options. I would like to do something at home and have narrowed it down to the teeth whitening strips because they are a lot cheaper than what my dentist quoted me. However, a friend told me that they can damage your tooth enamel. Is this true? If so, what is a better option?
I’m glad you wrote and are doing your due diligence in looking at teeth whitening options. There is currently no evidence that whitening strips can damage your tooth enamel. That being said, there are some things to consider about how they work before making your final decision.
It Takes Longer to Whiten with Over-the-Counter Strips
There is a significant difference in the potency between over-the-counter whitening strips and the professional strength teeth whitening you get with your dentist. While the strips may seem cheaper at first, you will have to use a large number of kits before you get the same results you would with your dentist. In the end, it may not be much cheaper at all.
Whitening Strips Give Uneven Results
There are three problems when it comes to getting comprehensive coverage of your teeth while using whitening strips. First, is the fact that the strips are flat but your teeth are curved. No matter how diligently you push those strips onto your teeth, there are going to be air gaps. Second, is the size of the strips. Crest Whitestrips, which is widely considered the best over-the-counter brand of strips only covers six of your teeth at a time. Most smiles are eight to ten teeth wide, so if you want all of the visible teeth whitened, you are going to have to double up on the strips, which will also cost you more. Finally, is the cleaning factor. Your dentist should expect you to have recently had your teeth cleaned before doing teeth whitening. This is so that the results are even instead of splotchy. This one is easily solvable. Get a cleaning before you do teeth whitening no matter what method you use.
Over-the-Counter Strips Can Lead to Irritation
When you are not under the care of the dentist for your whitening, there is no one to check whether you have any loose fillings that can be irritated by the whitening gel. You can even have perfectly healthy teeth, but the peroxide in the gel will irritate your gums by breaking down healthy gum tissue.
Safely Whitening Your Teeth at Home
While most people think of in-office Zoom whitening, which is done in one appointment, when it comes to getting your teeth whitened by your dentist, there is a way to get your teeth whitened at home by your dentist. He or she can provide you with custom teeth whitening trays that fit directly to your bite. This protects your gums from irritation. It also preserves the strength of the gel by not allowing your saliva to water it down.
I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.